Francisco Ros, the Spanish Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society, has indicated that the country’s fourth mobile network operator, Yoigo, may not be excluded from the process of reallocating spectrum in the 900MHz band, Europa Press reports. While the minister has still yet to provide a firm date for the frequency refarming to take place, he has said that it will be no later than one year from now, and will likely take the form of ‘contests’. Mr Ros said that it was the government’s aim to ‘give everyone the opportunity to participate’ in the process, whatever form it should take, although he did add that ‘it is very difficult to ensure that everyone gets the frequencies they want.’ Currently Telefonica Moviles Espana holds a 16.5MHz block in the 900MHz range, while Vodafone Spain and Orange Espana have 12.5MHz and 6MHz respectively. Yoigo meanwhile has 5MHz.
In separate but related news, Yoigo has revealed that its network now comprises more than 3,000 base stations across the country, which it claims surpasses the commitments made as part of its concession. The cellco said that it now has coverage of 58% of the country’s population. Further expansion is expected before the end of the year, with Yoigo revealing it aims to have 3,300 base stations in operation by end-2009.